Local 338 is an amalgamated union representing four separate bargaining units: Kaiser Aluminum - production/maintenance and clerical/technical workers, Kaiser Alutek workers, and LB Foster pre-cast/railroad ties division workers. We number more than 1000 private sector members who work primarily in manufacturing industries in North Eastern Washington.
Welcome New Members
I want to begin by welcoming our 10 newest members hired at Trentwood since the beginning of the year: Machinist - Jeremiah Loper; Welder - Tyler Monaghan; PT Lab Technicians - Ryan Greule, Warren Miller, Isaac Bell, and Michael Landkammer; Charge Makers - Bright Brown, Cliff Jacobson, and Steve Skinner; and Hot Line Trucker - Dusty Staley. Please make it a point to say hello and welcome these new members to Kaiser Trentwood.
In early February we sent out surveys asking for recommendations on where you would like to see changes or improvement. By mid March we received most of the surveys back and began evaluating the recommendations that were made. At the March 8th Union meetings I reported on the results of the survey and received additional input from attending members. Thank you to everyone who took the time to fill out a survey and who spoke to me in person regarding their ideas. We have started to implement several of your recommendations.
For the time being we’ll continue with the four Union meeting times: 7:20 a.m., 3:20 p.m., 5:20 p.m. and 7:20 p.m. Since adding the two later meetings in January, membership participation has more than doubled and we want to keep that momentum going. There are some big issues ahead involving carbon emissions and the Trans Pacific Partnership where we will need everyone’s help. By spending just one hour per month attending a meeting you’ll receive important information that’ll keep you informed and involved with issues at the plant as well as other issues affecting labor.
Legislative Meetings in Olympia
In early February Richard Prete and I met with 15 of our state legislators from the 3rd, 4th, 6th, 7th, and 9th Districts to lobby against Governor Inslee’s job killing plan to drastically limit carbon emissions. A majority of the legislators we met with said they understood our concerns and pledged their support. In late February we received news that Governor Inslee had temporarily suspended the Department Of Ecology’s rule making process while they reexamine crediting and offsets for companies like Kaiser. This is only a temporary reprieve and we still have a lot of work to do. Its important that we continue to keep pressure on the Governor’s office, Department of Ecology, and our legislature.
Trans-Pacific Partnership Trade Agreement
If you haven’t filled out one of our TPP post cards time is running out. We need your help now to stop this job killing trade agreement. Drop by the hall during business hours and sign up. In April we’ll be sending the cards to each of our congress members asking them to STOPany action promoting the TPP.
2015 Contract Books
Many of you have asked “where are our new contract books?”. Everyone is anxious to own a copy of the agreement and we are waiting for the Company to finalize drafts of the agreement. Then the union will give them a final proofing. Meanwhile, tentative agreements are on the home page of our website at www.local338.com, click on the button on the top left side of the page - 2015 Contracts.
During the month of March most of our plant Grievance and Safety Representatives attended substance abuse training. The training covered the effects of drugs and alcohol, drug testing process, Substance Abuse Agreement, and the Employee Assistance Program. In the past many of our union representatives told me they didn’t believe they had the necessary training to effectively respond to situations involving drugs or alcohol. Since marijuana was decriminalized here in Washington there has been a common misconception that the changed laws overrides the workplace substance abuse policy. The result of that misunderstanding is a higher rate of positive tests for THC. Based on that, I asked the company to spend more time going over the policy with ALL hourly employees.
I also think it is important to remind members that our Employee Assistance Program offers substance abuse counseling and treatment programs covered under our benefits plan. If you have questions about the policy or would like more information about the Employee Assistance Program call or stop by the hall. I can’t emphasize enough how much easier it is to help someone before they end up in the disciplinary process.
Dan Wilson, President, Local 338